Q: Why did the weka shriek before the sun came up?
A: Because he can.
To be fair there were plenty of other birds not using their indoor voices as the sky lightened over the sound and I slowly started my morning routine by opening the valve on the thermarest. What a cool spot on a terrace high above the water, big hills seemingly growing from the ocean floor, I later find are actually sinking, the only place in New Zealand this is happening.
I needed to get up before 5:00 am to catch the ferry, but what a treat for Raf to take me. Seas are advertised as ‘calm’ – just one meter swells. I run into the Czechs standing next to an American comparing shoe wear. I’m feeling stiff and secure in my new La Sportivas.
The ferry is enormous and I head right up to level six, wet in this gloomy morning. A sign alerts me to the rich bird life of Cook Strait – Sooty Shearwater that travel 64,000 km each year, three kinds of albatross that lock their giant wings in place and glide on the trade winds, plus gull, gannet, petrel, prion, tern, shag and penguin.